Mar 02, 2021 | Updated: 05:41 PM EST

Facebook Disables More Than 14,000 Accounts As It Addresses Massive Revenge Porn Problem

May 23, 2017 09:26 AM EDT

In January alone, Facebook experienced a surge in revenge porn and sexual extortion cases that on the first month of 2017, the social media site had 54,000 potential cases on its hand. The portal eventually whittled it to 14,000 accounts that it disabled. Of that number, 33 cases involved children.

To handle the sudden increase in revenge porn and similar cases, Facebook had to hire 3,000 new moderators on top of its existing 4,500 moderators. Their main task is to monitor content and individually go through the cases to lower the chances of a violator slipping through cracks in the system, Engadget reported.

Running the world’s most popular social media site involves massive numbers. So when users post lewd contents, Facebook is the first to admit that revenge porn, in particular, is not an easy problem to address, Monika Bickert, head of Facebook’s Global Policy Management team, says. To have evidence against violators, Facebook uses image screening. It also constantly reviews and improves its policies while balancing between protecting users and the freedom of expression.

The gray lines on revenge porn and similar issues that moderators must delineate rely on a document titled “Sexual Activity” as a guide. The document says a user could tell someone, “I’m gonna f**k you.” However, if the user adds more details such as when would it take place or how, the post would be deleted if someone was offended and reports it, according to The Guardian.

The manual, which has 65 slides, permits phrases such as “Hello ladies, wanna suck my c**k?” or “I’m gonna eat that p**sy.” Sexual references with humorous contexts, such as a little boy interrupting his parents who are making love, are also okay.

Criticalhit notes that as Facebook grapples with revenge porn and other hot issues, it has to maintain a very delicate balance. The balance would mean members could still post weird family pictures, share political rants, and upload competition entries that could be irritating to others. At the same time, it curtails abuse and harassment.

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